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Dealing With Beam Height Offsets For Coffered Ceiling?

 
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Old 06-23-2015, 07:52 PM   #1
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Dealing With Beam Height Offsets For Coffered Ceiling?


How do you typically deal with beam height offsets on a coffered ceiling?


Situation:
-Beam has a routered edge profile that would require mitering if kept on the same level.
-1/2 Beam around perimeter
-2 Beams running each direction on interior

Should I run all the beams through running north and south and then raise the beams running east and west 1/4"?

It is stain grade hickory.

As usual I'm flying by the seat of my pants. Found out today at 4:00 this was my project for tomorrow.


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Last edited by Spencer; 06-23-2015 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 06-23-2015, 08:47 PM   #2
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Re: Dealing With Beam Height Offsets For Coffered Ceiling?


Keep the beam bottoms at the same elevation. Miter and preassemble the beam sides and crown. It's a much cleaner look than the off sets.

To align and reinforce the joinery I use biscuits cut with a 5/32 slot cutter in a router or splines cut with a 1/4" slot cutter. With the beam sides over hanging the bottom any over cut with the router will be covered and if you use biscuits you can slide them in from the sides if you need to.

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Old 06-23-2015, 08:58 PM   #3
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Re: Dealing With Beam Height Offsets For Coffered Ceiling?


I'm with Justin on this one Spencer. Typically will run string lines or laser for keeping elevation lines.
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Old 06-23-2015, 09:07 PM   #4
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Re: Dealing With Beam Height Offsets For Coffered Ceiling?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Spencer View Post
How do you typically deal with beam height offsets on a coffered ceiling?


Situation:
-Beam has a routered edge profile that would require mitering if kept on the same level.
-1/2 Beam around perimeter
-2 Beams running each direction on interior

Should I run all the beams through running north and south and then raise the beams running east and west 1/4"?

It is stain grade hickory.

As usual I'm flying by the seat of my pants. Found out today at 4:00 this was my project for tomorrow.



Well, you have the option like the computer sketch you did, but if the perimeter is a true half beam vs, just a band, then I personally would match the elevation. I would install all the nailers first set with a laser line if you have one, and then run all the bottoms, then treat each box separate with mitered corners.

As mentioned before 1/4" spline works great for the butt joints. Just make sure to keep the east and west runs uniform to the north and south runs.

For the mortise and spline, we also use a slot cutting bit in a router mounted in a portable router table, works great with the fence and father board set up so all the slots stay uniform.

We recently did a coffered ceiling where they asked for a different sort of intersection and it turned out really slick in my opinion. It also helped because the material was milled at slightly different thicknesses so it helped by not having to sand all the joints perfectly flush.Dealing With Beam Height Offsets For Coffered Ceiling?-imageuploadedbycontractortalk1435111448.402020.jpgDealing With Beam Height Offsets For Coffered Ceiling?-imageuploadedbycontractortalk1435111496.949599.jpg

You could also see if the mill shop can put a dado on the back of the side pieces to help keep the bottom reveal perfect throughout.

EDIT:
Sorry spencer, I just realized it was you, and we already discussed that intersection.
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Old 06-23-2015, 09:11 PM   #5
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Re: Dealing With Beam Height Offsets For Coffered Ceiling?


Thanks for the timely responses guys. Miter them I shall.

I'll try and post some pics as progress gets going. It's going to be a sweet room. Hickory coffered ceiling, walls will be completely covered and paneled with hickory, hickory fireplace, and the safe room gets a concealed door. Should be fun.
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Old 06-23-2015, 09:22 PM   #6
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Re: Dealing With Beam Height Offsets For Coffered Ceiling?


Quote:
Originally Posted by StrongTower View Post
I'm with Justin on this one Spencer. Typically will run string lines or laser for keeping elevation lines.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Huisenga View Post
Keep the beam bottoms at the same elevation. Miter and preassemble the beam sides and crown. It's a much cleaner look than the off sets.



To align and reinforce the joinery I use biscuits cut with a 5/32 slot cutter in a router or splines cut with a 1/4" slot cutter. With the beam sides over hanging the bottom any over cut with the router will be covered and if you use biscuits you can slide them in from the sides if you need to.

Is there a rule for how you handle the joints on the beam bottoms? Which runs run through and which ones butt into the one that run through? I assume on the perimeter half beam the bottom/horizontal 1x should be mitered in the corners?
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Old 06-23-2015, 09:53 PM   #7
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Re: Dealing With Beam Height Offsets For Coffered Ceiling?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Spencer View Post
Is there a rule for how you handle the joints on the beam bottoms? Which runs run through and which ones butt into the one that run through? I assume on the perimeter half beam the bottom/horizontal 1x should be mitered in the corners?
Given the choice I use a butt joint in the corners. Frequently the design calls for a miter. It's a toss up.

If the material lengths allow I run the longest lengths through.
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Old 06-24-2015, 04:03 AM   #8
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Re: Dealing With Beam Height Offsets For Coffered Ceiling?


You won't have as much mitering to do if you make the bottom piece the one with the profile on it instead of the sides. Boxes will go quick and then you can partially miter in the bottoms.

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